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Great Dane grabs baby from mother's arms, runs into street

A Great Dane snatched a 6-month-old baby from her mother's arms in Monrovia and ran with the girl in his mouth before dropping her in the street, authorities said Wednesday.

The baby’s mother was talking in the doorway of a neighbor's home Monday when the 180-pound dog rushed out, slammed into her, snatched the baby with his jaws and ran off, said Lt. Michael Lee of the Monrovia Police Department.

The dog ran about 200 feet, carrying the baby by her right side, before dropping her in the street, Lee said. Police and paramedics found her there and airlifted the baby to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center after the 2:45 p.m. incident in the 600 block of Laurel Lane.

The baby was in stable condition Wednesday with broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a perforated liver, broken clavicle and multiple puncture wounds to her back, Lee said.

“She is doing good now,” Lee said. “She is still on a ventilator, but they plan on weaning her off soon.”

No criminal charges have been filed, but the Department of Children and Family Services is “pushing an investigation” into whether the mother did enough to protect her child, Lee said.

“But [the police] closed it as no crime,” he said.

A spokesman at the DCFS declined to comment.

The dog will be quarantined for the next 10 days at the Inland Valley Humane Society and may be euthanized if it is declared dangerous. If the owners choose not to voluntarily put down the dog, a hearing will be scheduled within the next few weeks, Lee said.

“I was a dog handler for 10 years and have been on this job for 21,” Lee said. “I have never seen anything like this before. This is such a freak accident.”


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Comments () | Archives (85)

Another thing...to the person identified as "toughen up", DCFS does NOT profit from taking children. As to DCFS "pushing an investigation," DCFS does NOT initiate investigations....they are driven by someone calling DCFS. DCFS does not have the ability to launch an investigation without there FIRST being a referral. Now it is quite possible there is more to this story than the news media knows or is reporting. The LA Times has a demonstrated bias towards DCFS and uses them to create hysteria and sell papers.

I say put this dog to sleep. It's not worth the possible danger to children to keep him alive.

I used to live in the neighborhood and know both families. These women are wonderful people. This was truly a tragic accident and my heart goes out to them. A routine investigation by DFS shouldn't take long, as the mother is exemplary.

I love dogs, but I love babies and small children more. This dog has made a major mistake, and the humans in charge of it have the clearcut responsibility to put the dog down to eliminate any chance it might repeat this behavior.

Probably thought it was a toy. If it had ill-intent, it could have easily killed it but sounds like he realized what it was and dropped it.

What if it was a pitbull? Many people would want the dog to be put down. All dogs should be treated equal...

Great Danes, Rottweilers, and pit bulls.....if you own one be sure and stock up on insurance. Any one of these are loose cannons around kids or smaller dogs. Any Vet that knows his stuff will tell you this. This kid is just lucky it wasn't worse, and yes that Dane should be put down no questions asked........

I always thought the Danes were docile also until one totally unprovoked, attacked a small poodle right in front of me.

This is exactly why I tend to have a general aversion to large breeds of dog - people have a totally unrealistic attitude about what they are really are (animals!) and what they are capable of. Yes I know they are sweet and loving to you (their owner), but you have no idea what kind of behavior they may exhibit toward someone who is not part of their pack. At least with my cat, I know even if she gets surly (which hasn't ever happened but could), she can't seriously hurt anyone.

A dog like that should not even have access to the front door at ALL. Further more, in my opinion people shouldn't even have dogs of this size unless they have a very large yard. Don't even get me started on pits, rotts, german shepherds, etc. Terrifying.

"but the Department of Children and Family Services is “pushing an investigation” into whether the mother did enough to protect her child"....are you kidding me? The people at the Department of Children and Family Services should all kill themselves. I am sure the mother saw the dog and just handed her baby to the dog. I wouldn't say the dog is at fault unless there has been a history of violence.....and if that is the case the owner should be held responsible for this.

"Police and paramedics found her there..."

I don't get it. Dog snatches baby, runs 200 feet and drops her..yet the authorities find her still there? What gives?

Al Ford | December 15, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Al - The incident could have easily broken the poor baby's back. Moving the baby improperly could make the baby's injuries much worse.

Put-down the dog (not all Danes are docile), Punish the owner and Pray for the baby and mom.....

The dog was in the house. It ran through the door and I am sure thought the baby was a stuffed toy. Just the way the baby was dropped in the street. I had a Great Dane mix (146 lbs.) and they are very gentle giants, but they don't think they are big and don't know their strengh. The baby's injuries were probably not due to the dog biting and tearing, but just holding it firmly in its mouth as it would a toy. This is a tragic accident. I hope the baby makes a full recovery and the dog is not put down.

If this would of been a PITBULL the owner would of landed in jail and the animal shot. What gives?

Blame The Great Danes! Let them be the killers not the american pitbulls

may be the baby smell like a puppy or some food? if the dog don't have a history of this behavior the dog is not a criminal - it's a one time thing - maybe dog realize it's not food or puppy or whatever he thought it was & drop the baby - he didn't attack or destroy the baby - just carry away & drop. let the dog go.

I'm really surprised at the comments stating a Great Dane would never do this and it's fishy. It's an animal. Yes, dogs are domesticated but they are still an animal with animal instincts. You never think your animal would bite or chase the mailman until it happens. Too many people think animals are little humans and that just isn't the case. You can never be too careful no matter how perfectly behaved your dog is.

So many idiots, so little time.

This tale is so extremely fishy and yet so many call for the dog to be put down. Sorry folks, but either The Times has left out crucial information or the child's mother has.

Dog behavior is a lot more predictable than most of you seem to think and this story borders on the absurd.

I'm freaked out that so many people think the dog mistook the baby for a toy. Dogs have lived with us for tens of thousands of years and we consider them our best friends. But they don't know an infant from a squeaky toy? Seesh, I'm liking cats better and better.

To MyTownGal: Read the article closer...the dog was inside of it's owners home. Who normally has their dog on a lease 24 hours a day inside their own home? I agree it is the owners fault, but I do not think the dog should lose it's life because the owner did not train the dog to be more socially accepting. Many people buy puppies and wait until the dog becomes an adult before they attempt to train the dog. WAITING FOR A PUPPY TO BE COME AN ADULT BEFORE TRAINING IT, IS HORRIBLE OWNER RESPONSIBILITY!!! Pets need to be socialized beginning from the moment you first get them. They need to be shown what is exceptionable play and want is not. Let them chew on things, because you do not want to discipline is a shear sign you are not responsibly read for pet ownership. The owners obviously did not take the time to teach the dog not to jump on people or grab at things! The dog thought the child was a moving toy and grabbed at it. "Chase me" is another bad game many dog owners think is "cute" when a dog is a puppy, but the dog gets older and the owners find out that they now can not train the adult dog to NOT run when people approach it. People need to get back to using common-sense in life. Too many people show they are real idiots when they fail to use common-sense in everyday life. People that need to be constantly hand-fed answers to things, are idiots. They prove they are incapable of thinking for themselves, which is the definition of the word - "idiot". Parents that do NOT consistently teach their children to use common-sense before asking for answers to a problem, are teaching their children it is o.k. to be an idiots. They are silently teaching their children not to be smart and instead rely on other people to do their thinking for them.

Bad dog...

if it'd been my kid & i'd been there, the mutt would have been dead & it's owners would be in the icu right now. a mutt that size could easily kill an adult... it almost certainly outweighed the mother & was both stronger & faster. only the sort of moron you'd expect to find in the government would think to harrass the mother over this.

For all of you newcomers, this is not the midwest, this is L.A. so get used to dangerous animals and people around you. It's a giant urban industrial mecca where mothers should be paying close attention to their surroundings. Verballistic, (?? whatever that means...it's just so ridiculous) go read a book for once in your life. Uninformed, dumb people like you are what make others prefer the company of animals.

I can't believe this!

The "Department of Children and Family Services is “pushing an investigation” into whether the mother did enough to protect her child".

Not questioning if the dog was known to be dangerous, not questioning the strength and agility of an animal that probably weighs twice as much and is half again as long as the mother, not questioning that a surprise attack would hardly be on anybody's radar, no consideration that the mother is probably traumatized by the sight of her baby attacked by the dog. No, the first reaction by the DCFS, that bastion of protection for children as we all well know, wants to blame the mother. No wonder people are sick and tired of government bean counters!

huh??? DCFS is going to investigate, now thats ridiculous to me, i mean i guess because it involves a child, but get real here, we are talking about a dog that weighs about as much as some guys or even people do!! So, really , it is a very terrible accident, but it does tend to make me nervous around bigger dogs ( german shephards, dobermans, ect... ) its not that they are all mean, but if they decide to turn on you or freak out

Anyone passing the blame on the mother should be ashamed of themselves!
This dog came at her from within the owners home. She did nothing to put the baby in harms way.Why didn't the owner have the dogs restrained? Why were they allowed to be loose in the house if she was expecting someone at the door? I'm disgusted that an investigation on the mother is even suggested. As a friend of the family, i can only hope she doesn't become aware of the ignorant comments left by some users here.

Could the dog have taken a sudden jealous reaction to the sight of mother bestowing niceness on this stranger and her little baby....the force with which the dog is described as leaping at the mom suggests this to me.

When I was about ten my best friend on the block had a great dane in the family. He was the second largest on record at the time. He saw something he liked one day when I was holding him on a leash, and he dragged me across the grass of the front yard. I'll always remember that.

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